Eva Cassidy – Songbird

I'm a regular reader of the hi-fi magazines and the online sites and forums. For years now I've been reading about 'Songbird' by Eva Cassidy. I've never felt it was my thing; my area of interest. It came out on CD many years ago, and then more recently, but still years, and apparently due to demand it has had a couple of vinyl issues.

This is what I've finally bought.

The first song is Sting's 'Fields of Gold' and while listening to it I also skimmed through the sleevenotes of her brief and tragic career before she succumbed to cancer in 1996. Perhaps it was teh combination of both that brought a tear to my eye.

More than any other female singer, Jeff Buckley is the face and voice I keep thinking of as I listen to this record. There are the same strange bedfellows of power and purity in their voices, the way they emote what they sing and can soar or be subtle as they wish and as the music suits.

An album of covers, there is a strong variety of styles including blues, soul and ballads. Pete Seeger, Sting, Curtis mayfield and Christine McVie are amongst the original songwriters. Some particularly stunning soulful classics with incredible performances from Eva. Why is it they only ever play 'Somewhere over the rainbow'??

So do I like it? I do. It far surpasses the libidoless schmaltz you often get from the audiophile labels. This is a record you'll actually listen to. And of course it sounds great too.

Packaging is nice enough, a gatefold sleeve with appropriate sleevenotes and elegy. Great sound and record pressing from the team of S&P and Steve Hoffman/Kevin Gray.

PS : There are a couple of messages in the deadwax…